All things do work together for good: While waiting more than seven hours for a second spare tire to arrive, I discovered the delightful taste of roasted bananas. The recipe is simple: Impale, roast seven minutes, carefully peal, and enjoy!
Yesterday morning we traveled five miles by motor scooter back to our waiting Land Rover to begin our journey out of Chin State and to the town of Kalaymyo. Everything went well until two of our Land Rover’s tires blew out simultaneously, the sidewalls ripped by the same sharp rock. Our driver changed one tire and then hitched a ride on a passing motor cycle to retrieve a second spare. He returned 7.5 hours later. Three hours after his return and well after dark, we checked into our hotel in Kalaymyo, after a long day of dreaming of real beds, warm showers, and western toilets (not outhouses with squatty potties, as in the villages).
Heaven’s Family assists 23 orphanages in Kalaymyo, and we visited a few today. One was the Handicapped Care Center, at which most of the children are afflicted with polio, a disease that was long ago eradicated in the developing world. After we first visited HCC some years ago, we raised funds to help them move from their small rented house and build their own facility. Of all the orphanage buildings we’ve funded in Myanmar, theirs is one of the most attractive, due in part to the lush garden-like grounds where Anna, the director’s wife—an amazing saint—grows abundant vegetables and fruit for the children. (To watch a video of the HCC story, click here.)
Most of the HCC kids were in school when our team visited, and I learned that those who were present during our visit did not attend school because of the severity of their physical (and in some cases, mental) handicaps. I asked the director, my good friend Peter Mang, what it would cost to hire an excellent Christian teacher who would devote his or herself to teach the “really-special needs” kids. His “$120 per month” answer was irresistible, and we made a commitment that will make it possible.
Below are a few photos from previous days that I haven’t yet shared. I’ll soon be starting the long journey home. Thanks for joining me on this journey! And thanks for your partnership that helps us serve the “least of these.” — David
One of Jesus’ kind of people in Mawl Zaul Village
This little girl was unafraid of the white giant who was aiming his iPhone at her to capture her portrait
A Zatual Village father with his three children displaying some of their produce that is helping them lift themselves from poverty, all due to a $100 loan that he used to purchase seed
Making a point about free will with the aid of one of my socks that became an impromptu puppet. Puppets can’t love. This was at a Baptist church at which I did not know I was going to speak until we arrived…thus the blue jeans.
A sincere worshipper at our Hakha crusade. When I talked with him later, I learned that he was a local farmer who wanted to help the poor by giving away a portion of his produce.
If you look very closely, you can see in this photo three villages in the mountains of Chin State. Most people in the villages survive by slash and burn subsistence, eating corn and rice.
In Myanmar and elsewhere around much of the world, you take off your sandals before entering any home or building.
Six of the seven new babies who have been born in Maul Zawl since our visit one year ago. I can report to you that babies and children act the same all over the world.
Bruce Harris offers to a tiny person a super-frisbee that we brought
An angelic little face
Our dear friend, Khamh Lian Thang, who served as our interpreter during our time in Myanmar. Khamh speaks at least six languages, and he needed to use them all on our trip. Khamh also directs a missionary training school that is supported by Heaven’s Family.
Jeff Trotter, wearing his honorary Falam sash, ministers to the saints at Van Hniam
A man of whom the world is not worthy, one of our primary partners in Myanmar, my dear friend Mawia, hugging a Van Hniam child as he tries to stay warm by the evening fire. Mawia is our finest micro-banker in Myanmar.